Two more women came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday, March 6.
Cuomo’s former press aide, Karen Hinton, told The Washington Post that the governor summoned her to his “dimly lit” hotel room and embraced her twice in December 2000. She described pulling away and Cuomo pulling her back to him “for another intimate embrace” before she backed out of the room.
Peter Ajemian, Cuomo’s director of communications, strongly denied Hilton’s allegations, saying, “This did not happen.”
“Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the Governor’s who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made up allegations from 21 years ago. All women have the right to come forward and tell their story—however, it’s also the responsibility of the press to consider self-motivation. This is reckless,” he told the Post.
According to the New York Post, Hinton’s husband, Howard Glaser, is a lobbyist and a longtime Cuomo ally who worked as his director of state operations and senior policy adviser until 2014.
In response to the Cuomo office’s denial, Hinton said “attacking the accuser is the classic playbook of powerful men trying to protect themselves.”
Hinton is the fifth woman to make these accusations against Cuomo. Earlier in the day, another former aide to Cuomo, Ana Liss said the governor asked her if she had a boyfriend, touched her on her lower back and kissed her hand when she worked for him as a policy and operations aide from 2013 to 2015.
“It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting,” she recalled to The Wall Street Journal.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said Cuomo’s behavior is common at public receptions. “Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures. At the public open-house mansion reception, there are hundreds of people, and he poses for hundreds of pictures. That’s what people in politics do,” he told the paper.
Lindsey Boylan, the first woman who alleged that Cuomo made repeated acts of sexual misconduct, said she is “very proud” of Liss for coming forward.
“I am very proud of Ana Liss. She is brave and she speaks for me too,” she wrote on Twitter. “‘I just wish—I wish that @NYGovCuomo took me seriously,’ she said. It’s extremely destructive that our boss, the governor of New York, treated us this way,” Boylan tweeted.
I am very proud of Ana Liss. She is brave and she speaks for me too.
“I just wish—I wish that @NYGovCuomo took me seriously,” she said.
It’s extremely destructive that our boss, the governor of New York, treated us this way. https://t.co/SsRNg77QkB
— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) March 7, 2021
“Resign you disgusting monster, @NYGovCuomo,” Boylan added in a subsequent tweet.
Last week, Charlotte Bennet, 25, revealed that Cuomo had asked her inappropriate personal questions, told her he was open to relationships with women in their 20s, and left her feeling that he “wanted to sleep with me.” Bennet said she felt “horribly uncomfortable and scared.”
Another woman, former Biden campaign aide Anna Ruch, 33, said Cuomo gave her unwanted kiss on the check and the encounter left her “confused and shocked and embarrassed.”
During a news conference on Wednesday, Cuomo apologized for behavior that he said “made people feel uncomfortable.” However, the governor said kissing is “my usual, customary way of greeting.”
“You can find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people men, women. It is my usual customary way of greeting. It was my father’s way of greeting,” Cuomo said. “However I also understand it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter my intent, it matters if anyone was offended by it… If they were offended by it, it was wrong.”
The allegations and the nursing home scandal sparked repeated calls for investigation and Cuomo’s resignation. The state Legislature this week stripped Cuomo’s emergency, pandemic-related powers. But Cuomo said he is not willing to step down.